Collection of the Holy Relic of St. Stephen the First Martyr
Date of celebration: 02/08
This event happened in the years when the great persecutions of the first Christians had ended and Constantine the Great was emperor.
Then Saint Stephen (see December 27) appeared three times to a pious old priest, Luciano, and revealed to him the place where his relics were hidden. He immediately reported it to the Patriarch of Jerusalem John, who in turn went to the indicated place and actually found the Holy relic of Saint Stephen.
When it was found, there was a great earthquake, and the saint’s relic flooded those present in that place with a fragrance. It is said that angelic voices were heard from heaven, saying “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, joy among men”. That is, glory be to God, in the highest parts of heaven and on the earth disturbed by sin, may divine peace reign, because God revealed His pleasure to people, with the incarnation of His Son. It was evident, thus, the angels around that the first martyr Stephen testified for the love and glory of God.
Later, the relics of the Saint were transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople and deposited in the – in his name – Temple erected under Constantine the Great.